Fernando Torres gave thousands of fans in The Best Amenity Stadium an emotional handwritten letter ahead of his final professional match before retirement.
The Spaniard played his last game for J1 League side Sagun Tosu on Friday afternoon, ending an incredible 18 year career in football with a 6-1 defeat against Vissel Kobe.
He wrote the following in his emotional letter to fans.
“When I was five years old, I started playing football with my brother. Thirty years later I will play my final match as a professional,” Torres said.
“Today I look back and can hardly believe everything I’ve lived through. I feel very fortunate to have been able to win the most important trophies in the world and play for some of the most prestigious clubs.
“There are also the successes with the Spanish national team; I have experienced feelings of great emotion and happiness. I wanted to thank football for making me so happy, but I don’t want to forget the most authentic part of the sport, the part which makes it so wonderful: the fans.
“Thanks to each and every one of the fans of the teams I played for, loving, cheering and respecting me. Also, to rival fans because you made me a better player.
“I hope it made you enjoy my football and inspired you in some way. Never stop chasing your dreams, it has been a real pleasure. Thank you, football.”
The 35-year-old announced his retirement from football in June after a special career. The former Atletico Madrid, Liverpool and Chelsea forward scored over 250 goals in his club career, as well as scoring 38 times for Spain.
“After 18 exciting years, the time has come to put an end to my football career.” he said on his official Twitter in June.
Torres began his career with Atletico Madrid before joining Liverpool, where he enjoyed arguably the best spell of his career, scoring 81 goals in 142 games.
The Spaniard then joined Chelsea for a then British record transfer fee, but he failed to live up to his £50 million price tag.
Torres later joined his former club Atletico before making the move Japanese side Sagan Tosu.
He leaves behind an incredible legacy in the game, and will forever be remembered for his time in the Premier League, as well as La Liga.
I’m sure you’ll all agree that he was unplayable on his day.
Thank you for the memories, Fernando.